The past couple of weeks have been really difficult for Madonna bashers. First, she garnered a nomination into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which earned an angry condemnation from some. Now, Madonna’s near signing of a $120 million dollar deal from Live Nation has rocked the industry.
Some, like myself, believe this can end up to be the most significant music industry related event of the past twenty years. Yet, her critics are still trying to tell us how “irrelevant” she is, not realizing an artist 25 years into her career has never been given this type of deal before. While there certainly is a lot to criticize about Madonna’s likely deal, many bloggers have decided to criticize her hands, her age (something that is rarely seen among her male counterparts), her “baby buying,” her British accent, etc. It reminds me of when I was in Junior High school and everybody hated the smartest kid in the class because in reality, they were jealous of his success.
Perhaps a legitimate criticism of Madonna’s deal comes from Michael Savner – of Bank of America – who believes that Madonna simply cannot generate the revenue to make such a deal worthy. Her albums still sell well worldwide, but record sales are becoming close to non-existent. Madonna, like other artists, will need to capitalize on her touring success as much as possible.
Madonna’s most recent tour, The Confessions Tour, is the highest grossing tour ever by a female artist. Fans had no problem paying the crazy $350-$400 ticket prices for some of the better seats. But will they be willing to do this every two years? More importantly, will Madonna still be able to deliver the phenomenal concert experience she has on her two previous tours? Whether her critics are ageist or not, jumping all over the place and doing flip flops can be pretty difficult for someone in their 50s. Madonna has always been an over-achiever and I hope she doesn’t over achieve herself into an Arthritis Rehab Center.